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Drew looking for right chemistry

Photo by Derrick Mahone
Barry Mayes, a rising senior at Drew, will be counted on heavily this season as the Titans graduated 11 seniors from a team that reached the Class AAA finals last season. Drew will move into Class AAAAA this coming season.

Photo by Derrick Mahone Barry Mayes, a rising senior at Drew, will be counted on heavily this season as the Titans graduated 11 seniors from a team that reached the Class AAA finals last season. Drew will move into Class AAAAA this coming season.

Building of Drew

Season Record Finish

2009-10 13-8 Played JV schedule

2010-11 16-10 Reached the AAA Elite 8

2011-12 28-5 Reached the AAA finals

For the last two summers, Drew coach Jarrod Davis has taken his team away to a team basketball camp.

This summer’s trip might be more crucial than the past years after the Titans graduated 11 seniors from a team that reached the Class AAA finals.

Davis has been relying on a lot of new faces to play major roles this summer as the team has participated in summer camps at South Cobb and Mays high schools over the last couple weeks.

“We are having a pretty good summer,” Davis said. “We have played a lot bigger schools as we are moving up in classification. I think this is going to help us.”

The Titans will move from Class AAA to AAAAA, the state’s second-highest classification, this coming school year. Davis took his team to the University of Florida team camp today where it is guaranteed six games over the next two days.

If they have a good showing, the team could move into the playoff round on Sunday.

Aside from the games, Davis is hoping his team will take advantage of another element of the camp.

“We are looking to bonding as a team,” he said. “We want to create some team chemistry while we are away.”

Since Drew opened in 2009, Davis has built the team into a contender. Last season, the Titans won the Region 4-AAA championship and advanced to the state title game, where it lost 65-46 to three-time defending champion Columbia at the Macon Coliseum in March.

However, much of that team has graduated, so Davis will have rebuild with several players that played JV last season.

Rising senior Barry Mayes was a part-time starter with the Titans.

Brandon Clyde, a rising sophomore, played a lot last season, but is out for the next six weeks after suffering a broken wrist. Another rising senior, David White, is also being counted on to provide some leadership.

“So far, we have gotten some good leadership,” Davis said.

“After what we did last season, it has given us some confidence going into this season,” Mayes said. “A lot of the younger players are looking to us for leadership. We have to guide them through this season.”

Davis is also high on rising sophomore Devonta Cacock, a 6-foot-5 center, to develop into a full-time starter.

“We have a junior class that is going to be all right,” Davis said. “It is going to be different than the past because we have a good mixture of classes on the team. We will not have a majority of one class, which will make it a smoother transition from year to year in the coming seasons.”

The team hasn’t put in all its offensive and defensive packages this summer. Davis said the team is still learning and developing its own identity for the upcoming season.

And Davis is also learning a lot about himself.

“God is teaching me about patience,” he said. “It is like you are giving the kids the keys to a new car. They have gotten in and are trying to figure out what all the car can do. We have basically given them a blueprint of what we are looking to do this coming year.”

After returning from Florida, the team will participate at the team camp at Georgia State University before breaking for the summer.

“I think, by the time season practice rolls around, we will have a good idea about things,” Davis said. “I think the players realize we have a chance of being good.”